TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

January 2, 2013

Grocery store owners recall night of robbery


The Times-Tribune

BARBOURVILLE —

By John L. Ross, Staff Writer

It was a scary night for John Young, his wife, Ruth Young, and their son, Jerry Young, on Sunday.

The Youngs own Young’s Grocery, on East KY 904.

They were also victims of an armed robbery.

“We just don’t know what to think,” said store owner John Young. “They came in here with guns and robbed us.”

Two men entered the store, robbed the owners at gunpoint, then fled the scene in a Pontiac Grand Prix with three girls seated in the back seat.

“We were all here about 6 o’clock,” he said. “And (the suspect) car was parked out here in the yard.

“They waited ‘til the traffic got cleared before they came in,” he continued. “Then they locked the door when they did come in.”

He said two men entered the store, one of whom was wearing a mask. “I think I might know the one in the mask,” he said. “I think he knew me — he kept calling me by my first name.”

He said during the robbery, a customer came up to the door.

“My wife saw him and waved at him,” John said. “But I guess the girls in the car told him we were closed.”

That unidentified customer left the premises, but came back after deputies arrived.

“He came back and talked to them (the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department),” John Young said.

“We’re making it all right,” said John Young. “Nobody got hurt, but they told us they weren’t going to hurt us.

“We (did) what they told us,” he continued.

Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell said that was the best course of action.

“That’s exactly what they should do in the course of an armed robbery,” Harrell said.

“They never got too much,” John Young said. “I’d say around $300 and a bunch of cigarettes.”

He said the suspects were only there a few minutes.

“They got my gun under the counter too,” he said. “We had money in a safe, but they couldn’t get it.

“We lucked out on that.”

He explained that safe is bolted to the floor.

“He (one suspect) tried to get it but had no luck — it was bolted down too good,” John Young said.

Young’s Grocery has been in business for more than 45 years, according to John Young.

“This is the first robbery with a gun,” he said. “There’s been people who’ve come in, grabbed a bunch of stuff, run out and leave, but never with a gun.”

While it was the first, Young hopes it will be the last.

“It was too easy for them,” he said.

Harrell said arrests are close, and Young hopes that is the case.

“It’ll make me feel a lot better,” he said. “We don’t need people like that out here running over the county.

“They need to be put away.”